Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wimax... down the line?

Digicel in Jamaica are rolling out Wimax - wireless broadband - which gives us hope here in Dominica for an end to the near-stranglehold C&W have on Internet.

Though they do improve the service - many people are now at 1Mb, it's when things go wrong that their monopoly rears its very ugly head. Try calling their 1-800 support line and you'll know what I mean.

Full press release...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Losing the adverts

As an e-marketer I feel slightly uncomfortable using an ad-blocking Firefox extension, but you know, I never click on the ads anyway so what's the problem? One could argue that my surfing experience on a particular site is better for losing the ads, so I'm a more loyal reader...

Anyway, check out Adblock Plus

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fighting spam, part 2

Since spammers are always one step ahead of the people who fight spam, the solution is simple - make the company offering the services that the spam advertises liable. The spammers hide, the people behind the services can't (or else how would we buy the products).

Fighting spam, part 1

(Taken from a forthcoming article in the Domnitjen magazine)

These days, there are times when using e-mail seems far less of convenience it once was. The huge amount of spam, undeliverable mail (probalby as a result of spam), annoying Out of Office replies etc. Add to that the inherant dangers with e-mail (namely viruses) and there's no doubt we're well over our honeymoon period with e-mail.

E-mail hijacking - more correctly called spoofing - is another problem that is cropping up these days. Why? Because it's so easy to do. When you send an e-mail, the From part (and other properties such as Reply-to) is simply what you say it to be in the account identity settings of your e-mail client (by client we mean software like Eudora or Thunderbird).

So if had your 'From' setting as "George Bush", with a return address of for example, it might appear that the e-mail was indeed from the Man Himself.

Of course, if you pretend to send an email as if you were someone else, when the recepient replied the plot would soon come unstuck.

Unless of course they had also hacked into your actual e-mail account. Then they would really have hijacked your e-mail. To avoid this, the number 1 rule is use a strong password. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and try to make it more than 8 characters.

Spoofing is most commonly used in spam e-mail in order to hide where it was sent from, rather than to maliciously impersonate someone. If you think you've received a spoof e-mail, do some checking. Using the 'View Headers' option reveals useful information such as where the e-mail came from.

And don't forget, if you're using a webmail service like Hotmail, always log-off when you finish checking your e-mail.

A good guiding principle with e-mail is: be suspicious - suspect any attachment, any request for detailed personal information, and of course suspect that $10 million inheritance from Nigeria!